15 Facts About Dilmun


Great commercial and trading connections between Mesopotamia and Dilmun were strong and profound to the point where Dilmun was a central figure to the Sumerian creation myth.

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Dilmun was described in the saga of Enki and Ninhursag as pre-existing in paradisiacal state, where predators do not kill, pain and diseases are absent, and people do not get old.

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Dilmun was mentioned by the Mesopotamians as a trade partner, a source of copper, and a trade entrepot.

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Dilmun was an important trading center from the late fourth millennium to 800 BC.

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Dilmun was very prosperous during the first 300 years of the second millennium.

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Dilmun was conquered by the Middle Assyrian Empire, and its commercial power began to decline between 1000 BC and 800 BC because piracy flourished in the Persian Gulf.

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Dilmun civilization was the centre of commercial activities linking traditional agriculture of the land—then utterly fertile due to artesian wells that have dried since, and due to a much wetter climate—with maritime trade between diverse regions such as the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia in its early stage and later between China and the Mediterranean.

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The Dilmun civilization is mentioned first in Sumerian cuneiform clay tablets dated to the late third millennium BC, found in the temple of goddess Inanna, in the city of Uruk.

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The adjective Dilmun is used to describe a type of axe and one specific official; in addition there are lists of rations of wool issued to people connected with Dilmun.

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From texts found at Isin it becomes clear that Dilmun became an independent kingdom free from Mesopotamian rule.

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The name of Dilmun fell from use after the collapse of Babylon in 538 BC, with the area henceforth identified as Tylos during the Hellenistic period.

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The importance of this trade is shown by the fact that the weights and measures used at Dilmun were in fact identical to those used by the Indus, and were not those used in Southern Mesopotamia.

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Dilmun, sometimes described as "the place where the sun rises" and "the Land of the Living", is the scene of some versions of the Sumerian creation myth, and the place where the deified Sumerian hero of the flood, Utnapishtim, was taken by the gods to live forever.

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Dilmun is described in the epic story of Enki and Ninhursag as the site at which the Creation occurred.

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The "mouth of the rivers" where Dilmun was said to lie is for her the union of the Tigris and Euphrates at Qurnah.

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